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tv   [untitled]    May 16, 2012 11:30pm-12:00am EDT

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nuances and diplomatic niceties and perhaps you can articulate one, two, three, four, what are the specific objections and if you don't want to say who in the congress is opposing, just sort of the groups so we can get a clearer idea what are the objections if you would, please. >> thank you, all. i will be happy to do that. yes? this gentleman. he has the microphone and we'll go back to you. >> if i am correct, there has been a bilateral investment treaty negotiated and agreed to by both the russian government and the united states government but not ratified. if i'm -- if that's true, is that not true? >> no. >> i would like to know the status. >> i will repeat. i will answer very briefly. we have been offering to our american colleagues the idea of sitting together and developing this agreement because absence
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of such agreement is big handicap for development of long-term relations. and the american colleagues was that they were rethinking the strategic approach to that kind of agreement not supplied to russia but most probably as applied to the rest of the world. my sense is that our american colleagues are now a little bit more ready to engage and we are looking forward to that. >> we should have a bilateral investment treaty and negotiations and the administration just finally came up with its model that so maybe we can engage with russia and a number of other countries on the negotiations. >> okay. let me just before you get back to that, that's fine. i will try to address your question and anyone can jump in. i am sure our official representatives will be thrilled to do so. one of the advantages of working with a think tank is you can say whatever you want. i have no constraints.
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one set of objections is from people concerned about human rights and democracy and deficiencies perceived in russia in those areas and this is where the case of course sergei magninsky, the lawyer that died while being held in prison, and concerns about that. i won't go deeply into the case. there is a whole set of concerns there. the way the parliamentary elections have been held, the presidential elections, et cetera. that's one constituency. a second constituency would be those that are concerned that russia is pursuing certain foreign policies that are counter to u.s. interests, so the point to the disagreement about syria, there is no question that the syria issue is seriously poisoned russia's perception, reputation, on capitol hill right now because it is such a big issue in the headlines. our inability to come to an agreement about missile defense,
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aspects of russia's relationship with iran while in fact actually i think that our cooperation with the russians on iran has been quite extensive. there are a whole series of concerns that people will have there about aspects of russian, foreign and security policy. then i think more pertinent to susan and klaus' area, there are concerns about how russia does business. there are concerns about whether russia will actually live up to the wto commitments that it has made, and whether adequate -- i hate to use this word, concessions, were made in the negotiations as part of the agreement on intellectual property rights, sanitary standards, et cetera, et cetera.
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so i think sort of broadly there are these three constituencies that have various objections for different reasons to granting russian pntr status. anybody want to jump in on that one? >> well, i am certainly not one who will be defining the arguments against russian graduation. i understand and i have heard all of this. >> all too often. >> when i listen to that kind of argument, i ask myself what is it? are we still in the cold war? are we in a relationship with the united states is supposed to teach the younger brother how to lead? that is wrong. that kind of logic can lead to is denial of gradation, so be
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it, be it. we will lead further. we'll go on and develop our partnership with the europeans and the biggest economic partner, much greater than the united states, and we'll develop relations with our immediate neighbors, but it will not choice of american people. if they do not want to work with us, it is their choice. if they want to work with us, it first needs to be based on mutual respect and the maginski legislation is a flagrant reflection of mutual respect as far as we are concerned and needs to be based on mutual benefit because that is the most reliable under pinning for any corporation, especially when you talk about long-term. we respect the business of the united states that this enters to make money and make business in russia and it is wonderful
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because we know what our partners want and when we feel that what they want is fully in line with the goals of developing russian economy, creating jobs, we welcome this. and when it comes to the business environment to russia, mind you, 20 years in market economy and i think we are doing excellent job of developing market that hasn't existed in a huge space of russia for generations and generations. that's not only to create new looks. you need also to create new mentality and mind you not everybody except even the notion of market economy, there is a stronger position in the parliament that is still do not want us to proceed with
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prif privatization and things like that and it's normal because people have views and they are different. but the overall direction that russia has taken, i think, is certainly very, very reliably democratic and market economy and i am very proud of what we have accomplished so far. as to the business environment, i think it is much better than it is described sometimes by company working in russia even very respectful companies and i will tell you when i was supposed -- appointed ambassador here i had a meeting with a number of the heads of russian affiliates of american companies and i wanted to understand how they feel in russia. all of them, the ones i met, all of them said that they know how to operate it. they make excellent business there. they want to stay. not a single one told me that they are reconsidering. i even joked, why in the world they didn't go to the united states and do not explain how
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well it is to do business in russia and some said, joked that they do not want additional competition. what i am suggesting is that companies that have entered, american companies like others that have entered the russian market with honest and serious proposals for business there, like alcoa and some others, they are doing pretty well, and they are well respected. it doesn't come without overcoming problems, but show me a market where there is no problem, including here in the united states. i have been talking to russian companies operating here. overall they feel comfortable. when you ask them have you experienced some problems? some of them say, oh, yes, but it is also normal because the
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other companies that operate in the united states have the same problems. they need to abide by the laws. they need to abide by the accounting procedures. sometimes it is something that is new to them and it is entering a market, a serious proposition, and everybody told me among the people i have spoken to, that the moment you enter the russian market, and you understand it, they feel pretty reliably comfortable. >> susan, one of the objections i have heard has had to do with china's wto accession and that the experience of china's wto is raising concerns about what to expect from russia. from your perspective what have we learned from the experience of negotiating china's entry into the wto? >> one of the things you learn is a trade negotiator is you can always second guess your predecessor's deal. you just -- >> monday morning quarterback. >> monday morning quarterback is
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alive and well in any trade negotiation. you can always think of things that you would have done differently, right, had it been your negotiation. that said, i think that most objective observers if you had to sit today and contemplate what the world and the trading system would look like today if china were on the outside of the trading system or if china were on the inside of the trading system and the u.s. hadn't granted china pntr, we would all be in much worse shape. the u.s. would be in much worse shape and china would be in worse shape. similarly, it is both in back to point one, it is in the u.s. interest and in russia's interest for russia to be joining the wto, and for the u.s. to be benefitting from russia's entry into the wto and that will only take place when
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pntr is history, when pntr is granted, and jackson vanek is history. i would say something, though, which is i would offer the following observation. i think you are three baskets of objections that you described, i think those are accurate baskets. this is a complex bilateral relationship, but i do agree with the ambassador that we need and we should be at the point where we can navigate a complex bilateral relationship in some sort of normalcy and that should enable us to have a healthy bilateral economic relationship, economic and commercial relationship, and still be trying to -- still be working our way through complex foreign
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policy disagreements. now, i am speaking as a former u.s. cabinet official who went around the world listening to individuals around the world always second guessing u.s. politics, okay? everyone, trust me, everyone in the world has an opinion about u.s. politics and our economics. it just comes with the territory. you get used to it. trust me. you do get used to it. >> we also do. >> yes, you just get used to it. so i would say it is also in russia's interests for u.s. businesses to be active participants in the russian market. u.s. businesses as i noted are very actively engaged on capitol hill and at the white house and in the state department saying, you know, let's get pntr because they recognize the importance of
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this, so it would be a real shame if the most vocal and the most active advocates of russia's accession to the wto and the united states were somehow punished by russian spfs or government procurement actions or some other kinds of actions out of some fit of pique if the timing was off because i would say you heard it here, i would predict pntr is going to happen just as russia will be a member of the wto and the congress of the united states is going to move pntr. the only question is one of timing. is it going to be july? is it going to be after july? i hope it will be july, and i know the business community is working very hard to get that done.
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i would also predict it will be in parallel with another piece of legislation. that's out of my lane. that's not my field of expertise. i just think that i leave that to the high foreign policy types and you guys are used to dealing with much more complicated issues than this and, you know, put on your big boy pants and figure out how to do it and the relationship will survive. >> we have had enough already. >> klaus, did you want to weigh in? >> i can only say from the business side. i think it is a very simple thing. number one, wto gives us a level playing field which i think if you look at what has been one of the largest wealth creation engines by far larger than any development program that any country or countries together have been creating is globalization, right, and here we're bringing another country onto that system and we're opening it and we have conflict resolution mechanisms that
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everybody accepts and i mean if you look at long negotiations and you mentioned all of that has been concluded in a good fashion and that's very good. gives us finally what we always wanted and it was an oddity of history that russia was not on it in my view. second thing now, we talked about the export opportunities, right? so i would argue, i mean, counter to what i heard here in the room of saying, hey, election year, i would say, yes, it is an election year. who on this planet can say that we don't need jobs in the u.s.? i mean, honestly, it would be out of my mind, you know, to see that anybody can say we're leaving that on the table. impossible to imagine, right? the third thing is what you get on top of it and some of you might not understand that, most of the companies, these days are global companies and they are
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headquartered and based in the u.s. and very happy and have a great heritage here. in the end, it is the international competitiveness that decides about how strong they can be anywhere on this planet and certainly also here in the u.s. and you get that in addition to that access to the russian market and for those that don't understand that, i mean, the russian automotive market is the largest automotive market already today in europe, right? largest one. it is fast growing. when you go there, you see it. you compare it to two years, three years ago when you drive to moscow and st. petersburg and you saw all the cars you probably wouldn't want to drive. these days a lot of cars are cars you want to drive and you still see a good thing you don't want to drive so those that are driving look very unhappy so that's good news there, and i talked about it and talked about the farming and there is thousands of other industries where u.s. companies are extremely well positioned into really make the market their own
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and the good news is the modernization program is open and clearly says that and i have stated that i agree with you and i think it is also an understanding in russia and in other countries what do u.s. companies bring to russia? if i look at when we acquired these two large plants, we have very strong safety culture. i mean, we recognized as one of the best safety cultures on this planet. so the culture in russia as we know has not been safety culture. if you look at today, today we have the safety numbers on samarra on the level of all of our plans. i tell you what, that was extremely hard job. it requires level of detail and education of training that was nightmarish and that's the change that we bring. that's the change. i tell you a person that changes the behavior and the work, i
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mean, number one, more respected to your point, right. number two, not giving that when they go into the private space. just last week we had our annual shareholder meeting and we have practice which we call month of service every october worldwide where we ask our employees to give back to the communities and when we started that in russia, everybody said what is that? we don't know what that is. we feel that we all should give back to the community which should be an old soviet concept and really wasn't because they all think somebody else has to give back, right? so today last year in october we had had 56% of all of our russian employees basically doing work in the communities and in addition to their jobs and this idea of volunteerism, and i could go on and on and on and give you examples. this is the value add, and this is what comes with the globalization, with the positive
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impact and actually achieves on a political front and achieves much more in society, much more in society and that i think also is what is behind the whole idea of modernization. that's what russian leaders understand. >> i know there are a lot of other questions and comments in the audience, but i have to be somewhat responsible in my role of moderator so that our guests can get to their next engagement. susan, i agree with you when you say eventually russia is going to get pntr. you know, it reminds me of what churchill said about u.s. foreign policy. the americans always make the right decision after exhausting all the other alternatives. so on that note let me thank klaus, susan, and john for sharing thoughts and time with us today. thank you.
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a complete fwid to the 112 congress. contact information for each member of the house and senate as well as district maps and committee assignments. you can learn more about the president's cabinet, supreme court justices and the nation's governors. pick up a copy for $12.95 plus shipping and handling. order online at the former u.s. ambassador to nato, nicholas burns, talks about the future of nato and gives a preview of next week's meeting. the atlantic council hosts this
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hour, 25-minute conversation. good afternoon and welcome. i'm fred kempe, ceo of the atlantic council. we approach the nato summit, and the heads of state and government gathering in chicago for the first nato summit in the u.s. since 1999. the council has been active all year, even a little bit beyond that, ever since the lisbon summit. the forefront of thought leadership on all the issues that will be addressed in chicago including but not limited to the issues of
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afghanistan, of defense capabilities, and of global partnerships and, of course, missile defense. and those will dominate the discussion. however, as important as those issues are, it was our feeling that something underlies all of this. and the most important thing in the alliance from the beginning of the alliance has been the question of lead ership and all those baskets of issues will be influenced by the kind of leaders who influence them as we go forward. secretary robert gates made that clear in his farewell remarks in brussels last june where he talked about the alliance facing a dim and dismal future if we didn't get our act together. he pointed out some of those challenges lie with america's allies in europe and canada whose lack of defense spending and political will risk creating a two-tieed alliance. last week at the atlantic council's annual awards dinner,
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ban-ki moon who received our distinguished international leader sh leadership award rightly isolated a dirth of leadership as the central challenge facing the international system. quote, everywhere we look, he said, it seems as if we see growing insecurity, growing injustice, growing social inequali inequality. if i were to speak like an economist, he said, i might say we have an oversupply of problems and a deficit of solutions, a deficit of leadership. fortunately we do have the leader on our board of directors, ambassador nicholas burns, who was eager to outlining a vision and recommendations to stave off the prospects of this dim and dismal future for the alliance that our nations can ill afford. there have been different ways of leading the alliance in the
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past. there have been many times when the u.s. was way out in front. there's been many times when the alliance has met in a quad, the four largest powers of nato after world war ii, and i think in this paper there's a good look at what sort of leadership has to emerge now and from what sort of porters. nick has worked very hard on this project traveling multiple times to europe making numerous visits from his perch at harvard to washington to meet with top officials and experts within the transatlantic community. i was lucky enough to sit in on some of those meetings along with others of us at the atlantic council. we're delight ed with the produt we've been able to produce and look forward to being able to share its findings now and conclusions with you all. you'll find some of them controversial. i think it's hard to quibble with many of the underlying arguments there. we are also fortunate that this
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report has the endorsement of a vast array of senior officials who have done some of the most important jobs at nato. and in the alliance. such transatlantic luminaries as madeleine albright, steve hadley, solana, david milliband. so three former secretary-generals of nato have signed on to this. they were consulted throughout this effort and the report has benefitted from their guidance, their wisdom, and supports broad findings if not each and every one of its specific recommendatio recommendations. before i turn the floor over to nick, i briefly want to call attention to another atlantic council effort that i think is complimentary to nick's report, the atlantic council foreign policy magazine survey on the future of nato. the council and foreign policy
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built a is yosurvey which we se some of the most senior figures in the transatlantic community, get their thoughts on the future of the alliance in light of some of the challenges i just mentioned. i think the survey can give us a sense of the political obstacles facing the alliance which this report argues must be overcome and you can -- if you didn't grab a copy of the survey coming in, then please do so on the way out. now before i hand the floor to nick, i just also want to tell you that we invite you to come back to the council next week on may 24th when we host an event here. you can fill out a report card on how the alliance did in addressing its key issues from chicago at our post summit conference. so now it's a pleasure to turn the floor over to one of america's finest and most distinguished diplomats to talk to you about this report and its findings, ambassador burns, as i said earlier, is an atlantic council board director.
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he's a professor of the plaque tis of diplomacy and international politics at the kennedy school of government at harvard. he's also the direct aror of the aspen strategy group which is co-chaired by joe nai and brent scowcroft. he retired from the u.s. foreign service in 2008 as under secretary of state for political affairs and he did that after 27 years in the diplomatic corps where he serve d as u.s. ambassador to nato, u.s. ambassador to greece, and state department spokesman. he also served on the national security council staffs for presidents clinton and george h.w. bush working on russian and east european affairs and underscoring the bipartisan nature of the atlantic council. i do want to tell just one story about nick. just to give you a feeling not only of his bio but the impact he has at crucial times.
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he was u.s. ambassador to nato while i was sitting as the editor of "the wall street journal" europe in brussels and it was one of the most challenging and historic moments in the alliance's more than six decades of history. he arrived at the ambassador's residence, truman hall, just days before the tragic attacks of 9/11. the next day the alliance showed its unique and enduring relevance when all allies invoked article five of the washington treaty for the first and only time in nato history. it wasn't an easy time to be the u.s. ambassador to nato. and the alliance had achieved a historic and transformational summit in prague but went through one of its deepest crises ever during the iraq war which i think, nick, at the time you referred to as a near death experience for the alliance. i think it's likely, in part, thanks to your leadership, nick, the alliance got through those
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turbulent times and it is in the good shape that it is now. nick has done more than just shake out how the u.s. leads the a alliance. when i first became president of the council more than five years ago, i met with nick at the state department to get his views on what the atlantic council ought to be doing. he was under secretary of state for political affairs at that time working with our allies on forging a counter position on e iran, working to stabilize the balkans and an array of other major issues. nick described his ambition of a transformed atlantic community capable of serving as a catalyst for global action and partnership on the greatest challenges we face in common. a lot of the partnership initiative that you now see in chicago grows out of that kind of thinking. it was a compelling vision which nick later described in a speech at the atlantic council march 07


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